BAPA 2: Create, Complicate, Resolve: The Keys to Keeping your Readers Interested

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Readers love a great story. For the writer, however, no formula exists for creating such a story. While grandma may give the thumbs up, she won’t be buying a million books. Readers can be just as scathing as they can be full of praise. A worthless story won’t sell books.

The ideas you have been working on have merit. There are no worthless stories here. It is important for you and your Muse to do the work to bring about a believable story. Readers don’t take kindly to being lied to or tricked. Deliver on your promises.

Key to keeping your readers is creating a story that they can follow. Consequences will follow any actions taken by the characters. Real life operates this way and so should your stories. Your readers will appreciate your brutal honesty and how much your characters can take without backing down.

Any story can utilize one of two types of narrative: Cheating narrative and sustained narrative. Avoid the former at all costs. Cheating narrative is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to hide flaws in a story or a lack of story altogether. On the other hand, sustained narrative operates in a linear fashion — you start at point A then proceed to B, and so on and so on and so on. The reader can follow your thinking to a satisfying end.

Both narrative types employ creation. Each story you write begins with a situation that could happen within the setting you devise. At this point there is no telling what might happen to your main character. The air is ripe with possibility, problems, and promise.

Complications are what come when you least expect it. Murphy’s Law is alive and well in the real world. You know every problem is followed closely by one or two more. It’s okay to heap the suffering on your characters. The readers expect that as long as the story stays believable in its unfolding.

What is resolution? Be aware that readers frown on neatly wrapped up packages at the end of their stories. There must be resolution but let the characters work for it and consider well the choices they make. Add a twist and your readers will see the story is far from over.

The world your characters inhabit should mimic life: sometimes we triumph and sometimes we fail. Through it all, the reader will go through the valleys and hit the heights with you as long as they can follow you.

Want to create compelling characters that help sell your writing? Holly Lisle is a full-time writer who has sold 30+ novels to major publishers and is the creator of the “How to Think Sideways Career Survival School for Writers”. Go to http://howtothinksideways.com/members/?rid=1012 and access 3 free lessons that teach you how to write a novel that sells – straight from her highly-acclaimed course.

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3 Responses

  1. […] BAPA 2: Create, Complicate, Resolve: The Keys to Keeping your Readers Interested […]

  2. […] BAPA 2: Create, Complicate, Resolve: The Keys to Keeping Your Readers Interested […]

  3. […] BAPA 2: Create, Complicate, Resolve: The Keys to Keeping Your Readers Interested […]

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